69: Elizabeth & George Severn


Manage episode 252014180 series 2312064
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My guests this week are Elizabeth and George Severn. We learn about their respective periods of studying at the University of Kent and about George’s tactical decision to move to a Joint Honours degree programme so that he could go on a Year Abroad. We learn why his years in Spain have been the best of his life and why he felt like a ‘nosy anthropologist’ when he returned there.
George talks about having Asperger’s and how a logistical problem resulted in time spent in a Spanish institution where he wrote a thousand words a day. He talks about autism, going to university ‘at the right time’ and the merits of keeping a diary and how Elizabeth’s diaries inspired George to do Philosophy.
George talks about why we often need to put on a performance in life and they both reveal their love of pens. We discuss the importance of handwriting and the place of social media, and the audience of our Facebook posts and the importance of editing. George explains why he is the same person on social media as he is in real life and the problem that arises when people post filtered images of themselves, and why one can find profundity in the everyday.
George talks about going on a research trip to Cuba and paying some of the local people he met to take photos of the contents of their fridges, and we discuss differences of outdoor culture between Britain and Spain.
George explains how he obsesses over the small details of a piece of music and why he once struggled to understand what was edifying about some of the music he came across on Spotify, and Elizabeth reveals that she came home one day when she was younger to find a member of Hawkwind sitting in her house.
George talks about why it is important to be open to new ideas and we apply this to how we vote in elections and why tactical voting can be necessary, before moving on to talk about the utility of literature and the role of religion.
In the final part of the interview we discuss whether our memories can be predominantly positive in the light of hindsight. Elizabeth reveals why she didn’t enjoy childhood, and George explains why his 15 year old self would be surprised to find out what he is doing now. We learn whether Elizabeth and George are looking back or forward individuals and how happiness can allow us to bear the unhappiness we have to deal with in life.
Please note: Opinions expressed are solely those of Chris Deacy, Elizabeth Severn and George Severn and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of Kent.